Some sketches from today’s Supreme Court arguments in two cases of ineffective assistance of counsel during plea bargainning.
Anthony Cooper shot a fleeing woman in the legs. His lawyer advised him to reject the prosecutor’s offer of a reduced sentence in exchange for his plea of guilty telling him, erroneously, that because the wounds were below the waist he would be shielded from a charge of attempted murder.
In the second case, Missouri v. Frye, the defendant, charged with driving without a license was never told of a plea offer of 90 days, and wound up with a three year sentence.
Although a number of Justices seemed sypathetic to the poorly represented defendants. they questioned whether a real remedy was possible. Even the attorney representing Mr. Frye, Emmett D. Queener, conceeded, “There is never going to be a perfect remedy for any of these violations, I don’t believe”.
Huffington Post’s Mike Sacks has the “textualism” angle here.